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Showing posts from May, 2017

Sticking to the plan

Today marks 3 weeks since Mike and I “went off the deep end” – out of the blue, we decided to try “the keto diet.” In some ways, it’s just one among many fad diets, like paleo or 5:2. But, it also provides enough science (well, probably pseudo-science) to make sense to the skeptics like us. Neither of us has ever been on a strict diet before, as we truly are food-obsessed bon vivants.   Yet somehow, for some crazy reason, keto got us to stick to the plan.  Maybe it’s the meticulous record-keeping or the competition with oneself to stay within the allotted 20 grams of net carbs a day? These are certainly both features that appeal to our Type A personalities and therefore got us through the first oh-so-miserable few days.But I think that in the longer run it was something else.For me, it has to do with loss aversion – the very human trait that describes an individual’s desire to avoid losing. Loss aversion is associated with a related behavioral phenomenon known as the sunk cost bias. …

Why an “anti-restaurant” is the best restaurant yet

Bibich winery, located on the picturesque northern Dalmatian coast of Croatia, does not have any Michelin stars. You won’t find it when you search TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet for “the best Croatian restaurant EVER.” In fact, between cracking somewhat inappropriate jokes and telling tales of the winery’s rich history, staff members insist that Bibich is absolutely positively not a restaurant. But I can tell you that I have yet to find a better culinary experience anywhere else in the world. (Believe me, after 36 countries and counting, I am still looking!)
The cynical behavioral scientist in me recognizes the possible reasons that the 3-hour 14-course dinner with wine pairings at Bibich may be less of a pure exercise in culinary (over)indulgence and more of an example of clever marketing as an “anti-restaurant”.  For example, one clever differentiator of the place is its emphasis on wine.  The food, prepared with utmost care and inspiration by the owner’s wife Vesna -- amolecular gastr…